ArjunaArjuna bark, also called Terminalia arjuna (Neer maruthu in Malayalam), is a medicinal plant of the genus Terminalia. Arjuna bark is thought to be beneficial for the heart. This has also been proved in a research by Banaras Hindu University's Institute of Medical Sciences , Varanasi (India). In this research, they found powdered extract of Arjuna bark provided positive results to people suffering from coronary heart diseases.
Research suggests Arjuna is useful in alleviating the pain of angina pectoris and in treating heart failure and coronary artery disease. Arjuna may also be useful in treating hypercholesterolemia. The cardioprotective effects are thought to be caused by the antioxidant nature of several of the constituent flavonoids and oligomeric proanthocyanidins, while positive inotropic effects may be caused by the saponin glycosides. In addition to its cardiac effects, Arjuna may also be protective against gastric ulcers, such as those caused by NSAIDs.
Ancient Indian physicians used the powdered tree bark of Terminalia arjuna for alleviating angina and othercardiovascular conditions. Its stem bark possesses glycosides, large quantities of flavonoids, tannins and minerals.
Flavonoids have been detected to exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and lipid lowering effects while glycosides are cardiotonic, thus making Terminalia arjuna unique amongst currently used medicinal plants.
Experimental studies have revealed its bark exerting significant inotropic and hypotensive effect, increasing coronary artery flow and protecting myocardium against ischemic damage. It has also been detected to have mild diuretic, antithrombotic, prostaglandin E2 enhancing and hypolipidaemic activity.
There is ample clinical evidence of its beneficial effect in coronary artery disease alone and along with statin. Considering its anti-ischemic activity and its potential to correct dyslipidemia, reduce left ventricular mass and increase left ventricular ejection fraction; proposition to administer Terminalia arjuna along with statins deserves to be explored in depth for defining its place in the management and prevention of coronary artery disease.
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